Then I got some pretty crappy news.
Remember the cutie pie from this post? She's my neighbor's dog but spent at least 50% of her time (often more like 90% of her time) hanging out at our place. She greeted us in our yard or at the gate when we came home, we fed her regularly, and she slept in our bed with us and our two dogs. She became an unofficial member of our family. We love her.
If any of you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen Boo before! She was with us all the time and essentially became our third dog.
She disappeared suddenly back in late September/early October and we were freaked out; she just stopped coming around and we couldn't hear or see any trace of her next door. We finally asked our neighbors about her (we dragged our feet because she is their dog, after all, not ours; we felt awkward asking about her, even though they knew how much time she spent with us). They'd let a family friend, I guess the one that gave her to them in the first place, "borrow" her (?!) for a couple weeks. We were afraid that it was because they planned to breed her, but we really had no idea, and, even worse, our neighbors seemed uncertain about what was going on. Which I cannot understand. Whatever. We ended up telling our neighbors that if they ever needed us to look after Boo, even take her off their hands or whatever, we'd be more than happy to do it. Again, we'd totally fallen in love with her. She was like our third dog. They reassured us that she would be back "soon."
She reappeared a few weeks later looking timid and skinny. She was skittish and we were so troubled by what possible reasons she could have to be so afraid and underfed. Thankfully, she warmed up and back into her old self, wiggly and friendly and sweet as sugar, in a few days; we also fed her generously to get her back to a healthy weight. She was with us all the time except when we weren't home, during which time we scooted her under the fence to our neighbors' yard. This lasted about two weeks.
In the meantime, I had moved out of the place I shared with my boyfriend. I'm now living about 45 minutes northwest of Los Angeles and as soon as Z told me that Boo was back, I had an urge to take her. I wanted to take her with me back to my place, away from our neighbors who didn't really seem to care whether she was around or not. But Z dissuaded me, saying it would be a little suspicious from our neighbors' perspective if she disappeared in conjunction with my own relocation, especially since we'd told them that we'd gladly take her. I also felt some moral conflicts over what is essentially stealing someone's dog, even if it did mean she was going to a better home.
Boo wanted to get in on this outfit post for the blog back in September.
So I restrained myself. Z was taking care of her every moment he was at home anyway, so I convinced myself she'd be fine.
She disappeared again about two weeks ago. Z went to work one day and when he came home, she was nowhere to be found. We both wanted to ask our neighbors, but again, felt a little uncomfortable asking them the whereabouts of their own pet.
Fast forward to today. Z called me about an hour ago to tell me that our neighbors actually asked him if he'd seen Boo lately. Uh, no, not for at least two weeks. We just figured she'd gone back to their friend's place for whatever reason.
The neighbors say they haven't seen Boo since Halloween. It's mid November now.
They didn't see their dog for two weeks and it didn't occur to them to ask around til now?
So she's missing, and for awhile now--it's not like she could be out roaming the neighborhood. Either someone grabbed her (whether they kept her or took her to a shelter), or she got hit by a car or met with some other terrible accident.
I think it's more likely someone took her. She is SO cute and petite, so I don't think she'd be wandering around for very long. I am not religious, but I am praying that someone wonderful and loving found her. I hope they're taking care of her at the very least, and even better, trying to reconnect her with her family (thus making it easier for us to track her down, I hope).
So. I'm kicking myself. For a number of reasons. Allow me to actually number them for you!
- I should've taken Boo when I had the chance. I would've felt weird and awful for nabbing someone else's dog, but if for the "greater good" and safety of the dog, wouldn't it be worth the moral trepidation?
- We should've gotten her an ID tag. We put a collar on her over the summer, but our neighbors just took it off of her. Why? Who knows?! So she had zero identification. Even if the person who found her wanted to return her, he couldn't!
- We should've asked about her sooner. Now that over two weeks have passed, the possibilities of finding her seem like they'd be substantially diminished. As incredibly irresponsible as they've been as pet owners, if we'd mentioned her absence sooner, they'd know she wasn't with us (and we'd know she wasn't with them).
Is it weird that I'm so concerned about someone else's dog? Honestly, if I knew she was being taken care of by a loving family, I would be happy. It's the uncertainty that devastates me. I mean, she disappeared on Halloween, and some people do weird, twisted things to animals sometimes. That's really letting my imagination get away from me, but it's technically possible, right? I just hope with every fiber of my being that someone good, someone who is a dog lover found her and is giving this sweet dog the love and attention she so deserves.
Sorry to be Debbie Downer. But I'm pretty upset. And maybe there is some sliver of possibility that someone in the greater LA area will see this blog post and recognize Boo and we can either reunite, or know that she is safe.